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Nuptial Spirit Vessel – The Process

Last summer I received a commission to make one of my spirit vessels for a wedding. I posted a photo of the paste papers that were chosen for the vessel and asked for ideas as to what to call this type of vessel. After many suggestions on my blog and from friends, I finally settled on calling it a Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Now that it has been delivered to the bride and groom, I can share the photos of its making. It started with blue, teal and silver paste papers.

Paste papers cut and folding started for the Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Paste papers cut and folding started for the Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

I chose to write the messages for this vessel in copperplate, rather than the italic that I use for the Earth Spirit Vessels. Because copperplate is traditionally used for weddings, it seemed fitting for a Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

Here are some of the 25 messages I calligraphed for inclusion into the vessel.

Here are some of the 25 messages I calligraphed for inclusion into the vessel.

The messages were chosen specifically for the two newlyweds by the person who commissioned the vessel.

The start of Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

The start of Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

I start making my vessels at the bottom and work up. The above photo shows the vessel with four rows completed.

A closer look at the first few rows of this Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

A closer look at the first few rows of this Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

I continue adding pieces, one row at a time. I add one row, fiddle with making sure everything is round and just the way I want, then glue each individual piece of paper.

Here I've added another couple of rows to the Nuptial Spirit Vessel.

Here I’ve added a few more rows to Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor. This is looking inside.

The above photo is looking into the center of the vessel from above. Its shape isn’t visible from this photo.

This is the look of the outside of the Nuptial Vessel. It's looking at it upside down.

This is the look of the outside of the Nuptial Vessel. It’s looking at it upside down.

The above two photos are from the same stage of completion. The second photo shows the outside of the vessel, though it’s upside down in the photo so you can see what the outside looks like at this point in its construction.

Now the Nuptial Vessel is a little further along. Looking down at the inside.

Now the Nuptial Vessel is a little further along. Looking down at the inside.

The more rows I add, the more the shape becomes apparent. The size of the hole in the bottom of the vessel actually changes shape as the vessel gets larger.

You can finally see how the outside of the Nuptial Vessel is taking shape.

You can finally see how the outside of the Nuptial Vessel is taking shape.

The above two photos show the vessel at the same stage of completion. You can see how the shape is starting to show.

Now it's time to choose the burl wood for the base of the Nuptial Vessel.

Now it’s time to choose the burl wood for the base of the Nuptial Vessel.

All my spirit vessels have burl wood bases. The photo above shows the different pieces of burl wood I looked at before deciding on the one I liked best for this vessel.

Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

Finished Nuptial Spirit Vessel, Safe Harbor.

I have been told that the bride and groom absolutely loved their Nuptial Spirit Vessel and were actually moved to tears. It gives me great joy to know that my art has touched the heart of others.

Enjoy, Candy

Cormorant Roosting On A Snag at Hyatt Lake, OR

Yesterday my husband and I took a drive up into the mountains to nearby Hyatt Lake, OR.  It was a beautiful day and perfect for a drive.  After a good winter for snow and rain, the lakes are almost full.

Cormorants Roosting On Snag, Hyatt Lake ORNaturally, I took my field painting box.  There is an old snag that’s been taken over by the cormorants.  They’ve even established some nests.  I thought I’d sit down and do a watercolor study.

Its funny, when I get into focus mode, trying my best to work with the paint, I forget things like all the little gnats flying around.  Or the killdeer that keeps calling trying to distract me.  Or the ants on the log I was sitting on.  The ants left me alone, so, I left them to do their business.

The next cove down we saw a bald eagle.  We were looking for the osprey; the bald eagle will do!

To crown the day, we stopped to have some ice cream at another lake – Howard Prairie.  Nice indulgence!

All in all, a lovely day at Hyatt Lake in southern Oregon!

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The post Cormorant Roosting On A Snag at Hyatt Lake, OR appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Studio Snapshot – Inspiration Books

While I love designing and playing with new ideas for paper art, sometimes I need to make art to sell in my studio. The past couple of weeks I’ve been working on replenishing my supply of Inspiration Books. It’s not the most exciting thing I do in my studio, but it has an enjoyable rhythm to it.

This past week, I've been making Inspiration Books.

This past week, I’ve been making Inspiration Books.

I have a couple of dozen designs for these little books. Each Inspiration Book has a word or words on the cover which describe the quote inside.

I cut out squares with a utility knife to make a piano hinge closure. A toothpick holds the Inspiration Book closed.

I cut out squares with a utility knife to make a piano hinge closure. A toothpick holds the Inspiration Book closed.

These miniature accordion books each have a quote inside. The books close with a toothpick holding the book closed.

These Inspiration Books have a quote inside. This is the Happy Birthday Inspiration Book.

My Inspiration Books each have a quote inside. This is the Happy Birthday Inspiration Book.

I make the cords for each of the Inspiration Books from multiple threads and yarn. I pick the colors to go with the colors of the book.

I use different threads for the cord for the Inspiration Books.

I use different threads for the cord for the Inspiration Books.

Since I want all my covers to be the same weight and easy to repeat, I scan images of my paste papers and print them out on Epson Premium Presentation Paper.

Close up of three of my Inspiration Books. Note the toothpicks that hold the books closed. They are miniature accordion books.

Close up of three of my Inspiration Books. Note the toothpicks that hold the books closed. They are miniature accordion books.

It’s not always new and innovative things I work on each day, but I do enjoy it.

Enjoy, Candy

Color Bias: Its Relative; Lesson in Primary Color Mixing & Mood

First Lesson

Color bias was one of the first lessons I learned when I started learning about watercolor painting.  Understanding color bias is useful, particularly in mixing color and creating color mood.

Early Advice – Look For Color Bias

Early in my watercolor painting education, I received some guidance and advice from family friend and retired Arts Student’s League instructor Mr. Vincent Malta.  One idea he shared was that all colors have a bias.  They have a warm bias or cool bias.  Warm bias would be a tendency for the pigment to have a little bit of red or yellow in it; cool bias would be toward blue.

Learning - Its all relativeFor personal clarification, and to assist in color mixing, I refer to the bias as toward yellow, red or blue.

Primary Colors

To begin, lets consider the three primary colors – red, blue and yellow.  Easy enough.  Yellow and red are considered warm colors – think fire.  Blue is a cool color, like ice.

But, its not quite so easy because of pigment bias. That is, most yellows have either a slight red or blue tinge.  Reds are either just a tad bluish or yellowish. You figured it – blues either slightly yellow or slightly red.

Why is this important?  Color mixing. Color mood.

In other words, color bias can be huge!

Color Wheel - Its All RelativeColor Wheel – Simplified

To explain, I thought I’d create a simple color wheel.  I selected two examples of each primary color from my watercolor palette.  I created a wheel, arranging them according to bias or tendency.

Regarding the yellows, new gamboge has a bias toward red; hansa yellow tends toward blue.

The reds I selected are scarlet lake – yellow bias, and quinacridone rose – blue bias.

The blues I chose are Prussian blue – yellow bias, and French ultramarine blue – red bias.

For Instance…

Lets do a “for instance”.  If you mix two primary colors with a bias toward each other, then you get a more “clean” color.  If you mix two primary colors where a third is present through bias then you get a “muddied” color.  Its best to look at pictures.

Color Bias - Its All Relative

Two Primary Color Mixing

Above are the pairings of my paints if I only want two primaries in the mix:

  • new gamboge (red bias) mixed with scarlet lake (yellow bias)
  • quinacridone rose (blue bias) mixed with French ultramarine blue (red bias)
  • Prussian blue (yellow bias) mixed with hansa yellow (blue bias)

 

Clear as mud?  🙂

Color Bias - three primaries

Three Primary Color Mixing

Compare the two primary mixes with pairings where all three primaries are present.

  • hansa yellow (blue bias) mixed with quinacridone rose (blue bias)
  • new gamboge (red bias) mixed with quinacridone rose (blue bias)
  • scarlet lake (yellow bias) mixed with Prussian blue (yellow bias)
  • scarlet lake (yellow bias) mixed with French ultramarine blue (red bias)
  • quinacridone rose (blue bias) mixed with Prussian blue (yellow bias)
  • French ultramarine blue (red bias) mixed with new gamboge (red bias)
  • French ultramarine blue (red bias) mixed with hansa yellow (blue bias)
  • Prussian blue (yellow bias) mixed with new gamboge (red bias)
  • hansa yellow (blue bias) mixed with scarlet lake (yellow bias)

You might notice that even though the mix might be interesting, the colors aren’t “pure”, or clean.

For example, French ultramarine blue (red bias) and hansa yellow (blue bias) create a muted green.  I might use this green in depicting the soft greens of desert sage.  I would not use the mixture to depict the bright, clean greens of new leaves

Idea Restated

Just to re-interate, two primaries mixed together results in a cleaner, often more vibrant color.  Three primary colors mixed together create more muted, muddied and sometimes richer colors.

And, they’re all good!  The subtle differences help the painter use color to meet expressive intent – that is to say color mood.

So, now what?

I recommend looking at your own palette and experimenting.  Create triads of reds, yellows and blue and think about each pigment’s color bias.  Then, do a small study.  What kind of mood do you create?  How about the colors?  Is it useful to you?

Experiment

With the left triad, you might notice that all three pigments have a cool bias.  With the middle triad of pigments, there is a warm bias.  The right most triad has a mixed bias, though I would say that it is cool dominant since both hansa yellow and quinacridone rose tend to be cool.

Color Bias - Its All Relative

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Please feel free to comment about your own explorations in color bias and mixing.  If you do a blog post of your own color pallet and experiments, please share your link!  Thanks!

PS.

Though I talk about watercolor paint, the principle of bias applies to all pigments and paints, from color pencil to oils.

 

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The post Color Bias: Its Relative; Lesson in Primary Color Mixing & Mood appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

DIY – Colorful Spiral Paper Flowers

Wildflowers are everywhere I look. They’re so colorful and inspiring.  They inspired me  to try making some colorful spiral paper flowers.

I love how these spiral paper flowers turned out.

I love how these spiral paper flowers turned out.

I’ve seen lots of this type of paper flower all over the internet for some time now. I decided it was time for me to try to make some. Although they were fun and fairly easy to make, there was a bit of a learning curve. Isn’t there always when you try something new?

I couldn't stop trying different colors of these spiral paper flowers.

I couldn’t stop trying different colors of these spiral paper flowers.

These flowers start with a circle which you cut into a spiral. Because I wanted to make the best use of my paper, I made my circles 5 and 1/4 inches in diameter so that I could get 2 out of an 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper. While I had success with these, I think next time I’ll start with a larger circle. Maybe I’ll make a number of different sized flowers.

I made my spiral paper flowers from 60# text weight paper.

I made my spiral paper flowers from 60# text weight paper.

I have seen instructions to make these flowers from card stock to text weight paper to napkins. I made mine from 60# text weight paper and it worked well.

See instructions below to correspond with the steps in the above photo to make your spiral paper flowers.

See instructions below to correspond with the steps in the above photo to make your spiral paper flowers.

Instructions:

  1. Cut a circle out of paper
  2. If you wish, you can trace a spiral on your circle with a pencil.
  3. Cut your spiral. If you trace your spiral, then be sure to erase your pencil lines after you cut.
  4. Roll your spiral from the outside of the circle inward. I found a toothpick helped me to start rolling the paper.
  5. Once you’ve rolled to the center, gently release the spiral until it forms the shape you like.
  6. Glue the bottom and hold until glue dries. I used a hot glue gun because the glue dries quickly.

Warning: Be careful if you use a glue gun. Mine fell over (off its stand) and melted a bit of my cutting mat. And that glue’s pretty darn hot too. Be careful!

I can see that these spiral paper flowers could become addictive. Try them in all sorts of sizes and colors.

Enjoy, Candy

“Organic Grind” Coffee Kiosk – Drawing Talent Series*

Grinding Another Drawing

Greetings!  Its “Organic Grind” time!   And, time to add another entry in my “Drawing Talent” series.  The series is about on location watercolor drawings of my hometown  of Talent, OR.  (See the bottom of this post for more about the series).

Today I took the opportunity to walk to “Organic Grind”, a local drive through coffee kiosk.

Organic Grind, Watercolor & Ink

 

About “Organic Grind”

“Organic Grind” is located on one of my exercise routes.  Its also located near one of the main intersections in town where Valley View Drive crosses the Pacific Highway. Its a busy place with lots of customers driving though every morning.  I went out late morning to draw the kiosk and it was still busy.  There was a steady stream of cars driving through.  It made drawing the kiosk interesting as the cars blocked part of the view.  Fun, though.

Today’s baristas were Shawna and Crystal.  I met Shawna; she was nice and enthusiastic about the fact I was drawing the kiosk.

Today’s Lesson Learned

Oh, I learned something today.  As I said above, the kiosk is located near one of the main intersections in town.  The first location I chose for drawing was near one of the roads.  I set up just inside of the sidewalk that borders Valley View Road.

OOOPS!  Not so good.  Valley View Road gets plenty of truck traffic.  Even though I wasn’t on the road, I felt its effects.  The first truck that went by sent my paper flying.  I was received a nice back-blast gust of air.  Not so fun.  I retrieved my equipment and found a better place to draw.

Lesson learned when drawing and painting outside, make sure you are away from truck traffic!

We Love Our Coffee

One thing about the Pacific Northwestern states – we like our coffee.  Its my impression that most towns have several places where one can get an excellent cup of espresso or coffee.  This is one of the things I like about the Northwest.

Double Espresso – Of Course

Naturally, I had to have a double espresso after completing my drawing.  In my opinion, the best way to test a coffee place is to try the espresso – neat of course.  No milk, sugar, cream, syrup or other foreign things in my espresso.

I like an espresso that leaves a satisfying, slightly citrus-ie after taste.   I enjoyed “Organic Grind’s” espresso and recommend it.

Organic Grind, Ball Point Pen

The Drawings

Back to the drawings.  This past February, I did a quick study of the kiosk.  At that time, there were people ordering from one of the coffee windows.  I did this small drawing during my morning exercise session.  I gave myself five minutes or less to do the drawing.  Such time limits force me to look at the big shapes.

Today’s drawing was the watercolor and ink study.  It was done in about an hour or less.  There is nothing particularly magical about the timing.  I’m just working on my ability to focus.  Plus, I want to do the studies quickly so the light doesn’t change too much.

Drawing Talent Series

*Note:  The intention of my “Drawing Talent” series is to get to know my home town one watercolor and ink study at a time.  I started this series in May, 2014.  Its fun and interesting.  Its the type of the thing that one might not ever finish.  Already, some buildings have changed businesses a couple of times.  And, there are plenty of places I haven’t drawn yet.  I have only gone to places within walking distance.

More soon!  I hope you enjoy the drawings!

 

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The post “Organic Grind” Coffee Kiosk – Drawing Talent Series* appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Studio Snapshot – DIY Gift Card Origami Envelope

What do you get for a high school or college grad? These days more and more people are giving either money or gift cards. So, I decided to make some good looking envelopes for those gift cards.

These origami envelopes are the perfect size to hole a gift card.

These origami envelopes are the perfect size to hole a gift card.

A couple of weeks ago on my blog post, DIY Origami Envelopes, I mentioned that they could be made in different sizes, depending on what size square you started with. I took my own advice and played with different sizes and found a perfect size square to make envelopes for gift cards.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

Start with a slightly larger than 5″ square piece of text weight paper. I used a 5 and 1/8 inch square. Not all gift cards are exactly the same size, so I used a square slightly larger than 5″ so hopefully any gift card will fit in it.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

These origami envelopes can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

I demonstrated how to make these gift card origami envelopes last Friday during the First Friday Art Walk. For my envelopes, I printed out digital prints of my paste papers on 20# copy paper. You can find lovely papers at art supply stores and scrapbook stores.

I love these origami envelopes! They can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

I love these origami envelopes! They can be made the perfect size to hold gift cards.

See more of my origami envelopes along with links to both video and print instructions on my blog post: DIY Origami Envelopes.

Happy folding, Candy

The Plein Air Convention Review Night Painting Demo

This video is about The Plein Air Convention Review Stefan Baumann Host of The Grand View Gives a talk to his class about his experience at the Plein Air Convention 2016 and looks forward to 2017 where the Convention is in San Diego CA. wwwStefanBaumann.com

The post The Plein Air Convention Review Night Painting Demo appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Creating Powerful Art by Homage Painting

This video is about Creating Powerful Art by Homage Painting. Go to www.StefanBaumann.com and get a free book on how to change your art using Love and by Homage to that person.

The post Creating Powerful Art
by Homage Painting
appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

DIY – Color Your Own Flower Envelope

Adult coloring books have become popular of late. So, I thought my readers might be interested in coloring their own flower envelope. I’ve done the drawing and have a template that you can print out. All you have to do is to cut out the envelope, fold it, and color it.

These are the markers and pens I used to color my flower envelope. Downloadable template is at end of this blog post.

These are the markers and pens I used to color my flower envelope. Downloadable template is at end of this blog post.

I know not everyone feels comfortable drawing, so this way you don’t have to. I drew the flower, scanned it, and placed it on on the front of the envelope. I made the template to fit on an 8.5″ by 11″ paper. It makes an A-2 size envelope, but you can size it to fit whatever paper size you can print on.

My finished envelope. Downloadable template is at end of blog post.

My finished envelope. Downloadable template is at end of this blog post.

Flower Envelope Template

Happy Coloring, Candy